China tops attractiveness table for renewable energy investment
China is the most attractive country in the world for renewable energy investment, according to a bi-annual index by consultancy firm EY, with the UK in seventh position.
Britain climbed three places in the Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) as a growing number of subsidy-free solar energy and onshore wind projects got underway in 2018.
The US jumped to second position despite president Donald Trump’s decision to pull the country out of the Paris Agreement, and a 30% tariff on imports of solar PV cells and modules introduced in January.
Rising protectionism across the renewable energy sector was a theme identified by EY, with India’s threat to impose a 70% tariff on imported solar panels moving the country down from second to fourth in the index.
“Government subsidies for clean power are being reduced around the world and financiers are anticipating tougher times ahead for project developers,” RECAI chief editor, Ben Warren, said.
“However, movements in the index suggest that these developments are just headwinds as the renewable energy sector continues to mature and markets expand.”
The top 10 most attractive countries for renewable energy investment are shown below:
Rapid expansion of renewables sees the Netherlands climb from 15th to ninth position, with offers of unsubsidised offshore wind and a growing solar PV market strong contributors to the sector.
Taiwan has returned to the top 40 for the first time in two years after the government announced its intention to go nuclear-free and increase renewables to 20% by 2025, pushing the country up to 31st place.
EY also highlighted how fears around climate change and a rise in electric vehicles continue to drive long-term investment by oil and gas companies in renewable energy.
“While the current economic climate has driven a relentless focus on costs, that focus is paying dividends, with the global cost of electricity from renewable sources falling year-on-year,” Warren continued.
“Combined with the plunging cost of battery technology, we anticipate further rapid growth of the evolving renewable energy sector in the coming years.”
Image credit: Shutterstock
Graphic credit: EY's RECAI
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM